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Help! Etsy's Raising Its Fees. What Do I Do??
I bet that's what many of you said when you received that email from Etsy a few weeks ago regarding the 1.5% transaction fee increase that is coming in April 2022. In case you haven't heard and you are just reading about it here, Etsy is increasing the transaction fees from 5% to 6.5% on April 11, 2022.
Some of you hopped into your Etsy Facebook groups or the Etsy forums and started all out bashing Etsy for this change. I know because I watched as the Etsy seller groups' Facebook feeds BLEW UP with post after post about the fee increase.
Then, the seller-on-seller bashing started. Oh my!
It seemed to just become one more major pain point for so many Etsy sellers.
Well, here's my 1.5 cents on the fee increases.
MAKE A DECISION AND MOVE ON.
There is no point in arguing with other sellers online, nor with Etsy, I might add. It's been weeks of complaining now. Moving on to more important things.
Etsy sellers could be working on growing their businesses, starting a website, emailing their mailing lists, creating new products, scheduling product pins and other social media posts, etc.
DAYS of wasted time for so many sellers who could have easily made up that 1.5% that hadn't even taken affect yet.
So, let's just stop it right here and now!
You're in one of two camps. You either stay on Etsy and continue what you've been doing, make your adjustments, increase your prices, etc. or you jump ship and start your own website or store on another platform.
But, make a decision and move on.
Selling fees will increase. Get used to it.
SHOULD YOU STAY ON ETSY? OR SAY BYE-BYE ETSY?
That is totally up to you and how you want to run your business. No one can tell you how you run your business, and any piece of advice, from me or anyone else, can be a consideration on how to accomplish your business goals.
But in the end, it's your business to do with what you want.
You can read all the things and still decide that those options aren't the business model or route you want to take your business. That's the beauty of being self-employed. You get to make your own rules - for the most part.
This is my personal opinion here, and again, you can take this advise or decide that it just isn't right for you.
So, do you stay, or do you go?
Well... I'm staying.
For me, I have 3 established shops on Etsy that pull in a significant income for my business. This is not something I want to give up.
One of these shops is entirely passive and one is semi-passive with both digital and physical products.
For me, passive income is passive income. I just have the upfront costs of creating and listing, and for the most part, after that, I'm done. The orders that come in fulfill themselves, and I only have to deal with customers when there's an issue.
Whoop whoop. I'm an introvert so there's nothing better than evergreen and passive income!
In my other shops, the non-passive ones, they still bring in $$$$$. I'm not giving that up over 1.5%. I'll just increase my prices.
It's not a huge significant change. It's just 1.5%. Buyers know right now that prices are increasing every day on everything.
Our economies are ever-changing and inflation has been a big bullet to bite for many small businesses during the pandemic, with increased material costs and shipping costs and the unknown future of ecommerce and business in general. So this is just one more hurtle to having a successful online business. I get that.
But, for me, I'm staying. I built my full-time businesses on Etsy and don't plan on throwing that away for 1.5%.
There are other options out there.
GoImagine, Artfire, Facebook, Istagram, eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Squarespace, Wordpress and so many more. It's your responsibility as a business person to make those hard decisions.
What is the right place for you? Only you can decide.
BUT ETSY'S GOING TO COST MORE...
I've seen the spin of, "Etsy's increasing its fees by 30%!" Yep.
While that is true, it is 30% of 5%. Etsy isn't increasing the fee 30%; it's increasing it 30% of the current fee.
Some sellers, mostly those who have decided to Strike on Etsy April 11-18th, 2022 are those making that particular claim.
In my eyes, this is so misleading and overblown. Drama, drama, drama. Enough said.
Again. Not a 30% increase as in Etsy now taking $3 on every $10 but 30% of 5%!!! It's only a change of 1.5%. It's literally 1.5 cents on the dollar.
You paid more in sales tax on the coffee you bought at the coffee shop this morning.
For this argument, all I can say is charge more for your products. Your prices aren't fixed; you can do with them whatever you want. And most buyers won't notice if you raise your price a few bucks.
There are things to consider when making price changes.
One is you don't want to price yourself out of your market, but this decision to charge more is just like deciding to charge more for shipping.
The cost of shipping will continue to rise. UPS, USPS and FedEx will continue to charge more on a more frequent basis too for their delivery services so you in turn charge more for shipping or build it into the cost of your item on the front end.
The Etsy fee increase is no different. The cost of doing business is always going to increase. If you want to stay in business, you will have to charge more as well. It's just part of the business cycle.
Just like when your material costs increase, you raise your prices. So goes the same for seller fee increases, increase your prices.
I know some handmade sellers get stuck in the so-called hobbyist mentality and that they aren't "allowed" to charge more or they feel that it's just not right to charge more for their products. This can be a tough one to break, but if you don't, you will end up working for free!
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ARE YOU CHARGING WHAT YOU'RE WORTH AND COVERING YOUR COSTS?
Think of it this way. If you didn't charge more, you would have these additional costs eating into your profit over and over again. You would be working for less and less every time one of your suppliers or shippers charges you more for the same materials or services.
Are you willing to eat those cost? I highly doubt it. At some point, you would literally be working for free when your material and shipping costs became more than you are charging. So why would you treat seller fees any differently?
This seems like a no brainer to me. So, the next time one of your expenses goes up, please stop running over the Etsy forums or Etsy seller Facebook groups to rant and rave and be outraged. That really won't make you feel better nor solve the latest business conundrum.
The first thing you should do, while you weigh your options and decide which path to take, is to jump in your shop and raise your prices. Period.
Buyers aren't going to notice unless they stalk your shop. Most don't pay that much attention to negligible changes.
Now, if you decide to go your separate way, that's fine too! You do you. I would never fault someone for making the decision to leave a selling platform they are not happy with. I've done this myself on a few platforms. They just weren't the right fit.
If it's making you miserable or if you feel it isn't worth the cost, then move on. No shaming other sellers, no making snap judgements on how others should run their shops.
You do you, and they do their own thing.
Again, the beauty of being a self-employed business owner and the freedom of choice.
CAUTION - DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE REGARDING PRICE CHANGES
You may be thinking...okay, so I will just increase my prices the 1.5%. Done.
You have to remember here that the Etsy increase applies to the new listing price as well. So, if the 1.5% increase comes to $1, you need to increase your prices by MORE than one dollar because Etsy will get their 1.5% of that increase to your listing price as well.
An example. You have a $100 product. We will say this includes shipping to make things easier. To "cover" the 1.5% increase to the seller fees, you may do the easy math and say well that's $1.50.
Now, Etsy gets its 1.5% of that $1.50 you increased your price by too! ($0.0225.) Now, this adds up to next to nothing in this example, a few pennies.
BUT, if you were selling a $10000 custom dining table, this would be a more significant impact. It would be an additional $150 in additional transaction fees that Etsy will be getting. So, if you make your new price $10150, Etsy gets now gets $152.25.
Again, a somewhat small increase in the overall fee paid to Etsy for just one item in the grand scheme of things.
But after a while, those pennies, dollars or even hundreds of dollars do add up so make sure you are accounting for them whenever there are percentage increases.
These changes all go into effect in April 2022. The same logic can be applied in any and all future fee increases.
And, yes, they will come. So be prepared to make changes at least once a year.
If you're struggling with figuring out Etsy's fees, you can grab my ETSY LISTING FEE CALCULATOR. Available as printable PDF, Excel spreadsheet and Google Sheets format.
This is a super simple Google Sheet and Excel spreadsheet format that will auto calculate your Etsy listing fees for you! Also, a printable format is included. Easily make sure you are figuring those fees into your product pricing. Know that you will be making a profit once the fee dust settles.
If you are struggling with pricing you items, I have a PRODUCT PRICING CALCULATOR SPREADSHEET too that you can grab to help you work through how to price your items and make sure you are covering all your costs such as material costs, shipping costs, labor, overhead/fees, etc.
Pricing really is part science and part math. My hope is that this information will make running your Etsy shop much easier.
IS ETSY WORTH ALL THE FEES AND FEE INCREASES?
Now, you may be asking, is Etsy worth the time and money? Right, because we are talking about Etsy raising its fees percentage.
Again, my answer is the same. Yes, and here's why. (Feel free to disagree if you like.)
Etsy is a marketplace. This means that Etsy is, for the most part, the marketer for your Etsy shop if you put ZERO effort into marketing and social media yourself. Etsy spends MILLIONS of dollars each year to keep buyers coming back and to acquire new buyers.
From TV ads, Facebook ads, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok and so on, Etsy is spending big money to keep the buyers flowing to the site.
If you are a stand alone website, this is simply not the case. You would have to spend just as much, IF NOT MORE!!, time and money just to be in the same ballpark as Etsy for traffic and sales.
I don't know about you, but my bank account isn't that big.
Etsy gives you access to its shoppers in return for the transaction fee. It's really a simply bartering arrangement.
Shoppers = Etsy fees.
The transaction fee will go up to 6.5% compared to its current 5% due to increased costs that the marketplace is incurring for staffing, tech and advertising costs. More employees and more technology to keep the marketplace safe and our data secure, etc.
What Etsy is promising to give the sellers in return is better customer service (which I think many sellers would agree has been quite lacking in recent years), but Etsy is saying it will be fixing that by bringing on more staff to help with seller's needs. Faster email responses and live chat expansion.
Etsy is supposed to be using some of this money to invest in helping keep the marketplace safer. Getting rid of shops that are violating Etsy's policies. You know who I'm talking about. Spammers and scammers.
Since Covid-19 rocked our world, Etsy has seen a massive increase to the number of sellers on the platform. Many of which do not sell according to Etsy policies for what is vintage, handmade or a supply. They have seen enormous amounts of scammers and spammers alike.
This is not making the current sellers on the platform very happy. Many being quite vocal about their unhappiness with how Etsy is dealing with this situation.
This is a major issue Etsy knows it needs to address. If Etsy doesn't, sellers may leave for this reason as well. Etsy needs its sellers to keep it in business.
It's perfectly fine to express your opinions to Etsy if there is an issue that arises. And frankly, it is our responsibility to help Etsy with recognizing and finding solutions that work for everyone involved.
The other thing Etsy is promising to working on is resolving issues with buyers.
Along with more sellers, there are always more buyers. Buyers recently have been stressed over the increased costs of goods and services and many are stretching their budgets too. World economics plays a big part in how buyers interact and purchase goods so a stressful economy can lead to cranky buyers.
Etsy has also seen an influx of scammer buyers as well as sellers. This creates a pain point for both Etsy and the sellers. From packages not being delivered as expected due to major shipping delays around the world to just downright nasty buyers and scammy buyer practices.
Etsy is promising to work on these 3 things in exchange for your additional 1.5%.
HOW DO ETSY FEES COMPARE TO OTHER PLATFORMS?
I still see that Etsy's fee are below most other platforms. Some of the big ones sellers are seeing as an alternative to Etsy are Amazon, eBay and Shopify.
If you want to sell on Amazon, you need to look into their fees closely. From Amazon Handmade to Seller Accounts to FBA, these all have their own pluses and minuses and different fee structures based on the item being sold or warehoused.
Most of the time, Amazon will have higher transaction fees that Etsy. Its a sheer numbers thing here. Amazon is HUGE! Amazon's customer base is larger than Etsy's by, let's just say, A LOT! In exchange, they charge more. It's strictly numbers here. More customer access, higher fees.
eBay is along those same lines. Double check all the selling fees that come with selling your particular products, etc.
I will be honest, I don't sell on eBay so definitely do your own research on that one.
eBay has also announced fee changes this year as well.
All platforms have different fee structures, and they change frequently so what works today and for years for your business may not always work as your business grows or your business model changes.
With Shopify, it's much different. More like comparing apples to oranges. With Amazon, eBay and Etsy, they are all marketplace. Shopify is not. With Shopify, it is entirely up to you to get the buyers to the cart.
From buyer interest, to click through on social media and ads, to buy buttons, add to carts and finally checkout. This is ALL ON YOU.
It is much harder to get customers in the proverbial door of your website than it is on a marketplace. This can be a large monetary and time commitment to get an independent website fully up and running and attracting customers who are willing to open their wallets.
As far as the cost goes, Shopify's costs are reasonable, at least to me. This website is hosted on Shopify!
Shopify has a base plan that currently starts at $29 per month. They do not charge a commission on your sales. There is, however, still a credit card processing fee very similar to Etsy's processing fee.
Note - a processing fee is NOT the same as a transaction fee. A processing fee is that charged by the credit card processing company actually dealing with the money exchanges from different card and bank accounts.
So, if you are a marketing master and you can get your efforts to convert into sales, this may be an option for you.
Comparatively, Etsy charges $.20 per listing just to show it on the platform. Shopify has no listing fee, instead it has the $29 monthly fee. If you have more than 145 sales per month (.2x145=29) you would possibly be saving money with Shopify. $.20 listing fee x 145 sales = $29.
This is a simple way to show a breakeven between the two just on "listing" fees alone. Anything over 145 sales, you could begin to save money with Shopify. But this is ONLY if you are able to get the traffic needed for acquire that many sales per month.
Also, consider that Etsy then takes their updated 6.5% transaction fee on the sale price of those 145 sales. Shopify does not have that transaction fee. So that would potentially be money saved if you had the same sales on Shopify vs Etsy.
Again, a Shopify store would need more effort in the marketing department for your website than is needed for Etsy's marketplace site. That's the big trade off.
CAN I HAVE SHOPS ON MORE THAN ONE PLATFORM?
And I would encourage you to do so if you can financially support it and if you have the bandwidth to handle more than one platform at a time.
Running multiple shops all on different platforms means you could have multiple revenue streams, earning you even more money!!
You won't have all your eggs in one basket if one goes down. - Which has been a major complaint of some sellers when their Etsy shop is shut down unexpectantly and without warning. - But, along with that does come double (or more) the work, customers, messages, shop maintenance, etc.
If you are looking for part-time income, I would NOT suggest this. I would stick with one or two max for part-timers.
If looking to significantly increase your income potential, this could be a great option for you. Again, you will be taking on a lot of work though.
Building another storefront on another platform is time consuming. Think about how long it took you to start your first online store... Was it a breeze or did you struggle with tech?
Running stores on different platforms could be a challenge. No two are alike and each has its own learning curve. Most do not allow you to "merge" your inventory from one site to another so you have to maintain inventory independently, hence the increased workload.
There is tons of potential with multiple platforms but also comes more work or outsourcing some of that work- which would increase the costs of running your business too.
So, what do you do? Do you raise pricing and stay on Etsy? Do you start up a new store on another platform while limiting your Etsy store and slowly shut it down? Or do you go all in on a new website or marketplace?
You could be at a turning point in your business and ready to expand or change. Just please be cautious if making a leap. Don't cut off your nose in spite of your face.
Please take time to make an informed decision and not just an emotional, spur of the moment one. Let the fee increase news settle, weigh your options carefully and listen to your gut.
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